OMW in Turkish
Posted on January 29, 2012 Posted by John Scalzi 22 Comments
The Kayip Rithim Web site, which is a Turkish site for science fiction and fantasy, has posted the opening chapter of the Turkish translation of Old Man’s War in advance of the book’s publication in (I think) March. Curious as to how the text looks in Turkish? Of course you are. You can find out here.
And Google translate offers this gentle reminder that machine translation is not there yet:
“Seventy-fifth birthday, my I did two things. Before I visited the grave of my wife. Then he enrolled in the army.”
Um, was I the only one who read OMW as On My Way?
Sigh, time for more caffeine.
“Book your wife to be buried in a cemetery director, about the lack of debate, so to speak puts people in the bottom of the earth.”
“Tattooed demon children are afraid of the side shop.”
Ok, this might have actually improved the book.
I am still laughing out loud.
I think we want to make clear here (as it was in the first comment) that the translations issues here arise out of mechanical Google translations, not the actual translation of the book into Turkish.
Yay, finally! Now I can recommend it to all my friends there:) For those who wonder, the translation is accurate, at least the part that is posted. I personally would choose different words, here and there, probably, but all in all I think the essence is translated well, so there’s no need to worry about it. I’m just hoping that it sells well enough so the sequels can be translated as well!
Machine reading, however, has come a long way IMHO. The passages I sampled sounded beautifully lyrical and crisply enunciated.
“Üzgünüm. Çocukluğumda espri anlayışım ameliyatla alınmış.”
Cool. The first thing I did was try to see if I could decipher enough words in the first few sentences to reconcile it with the English opening. Of course I couldn’t. Turkish definitely isn’t a latinate language. Then I realized that OMW is one of a handful if books that I can remember the opening lines well enough to even try. To me, it’s right up there with “It was love at first sight.”
I know this isn’t the right place and my apologies in advance. I am about to be sent on an unexpected trip and I need to be able to buy some Epub format books that I can load onto my phone (The Rook is one I want in particular) and I am at a loss how to identify a reputable site that will allow me to do this without buying their proprietary reader. I buy ebooks from baen all the time so Im not a total Ludite.
Thanks for any help and again sorry
I’m just shocked that in the first 6 comment are two people who know Turkish.
Sorry, John. I didn’t mean to start an MT discussion; I was just amused by Chrome’s translation of that famous first line.
I’m guessing this is the first foray of one of your books into Anatolian form? The KR article about the book starts out with a statement that seems to amount to “Yeah, we know you never heard of this guy, but trust us, he’s a big deal overseas.”
My 13-year old son is a sci-fi nut. He also worships you. He’s also taking Turkish at school. (really!) I showed him the website, and his only words were “ummmmmmm….I recognize one word.” Guess he won’t be bragging about his Turkish skills quite yet!
1) Just wondering how income from foreign language rights stack up against the original sale of a book for the author. In percentage terms of course – wouldn’t expect you to talk dollars.
2) It seems your foreign editions are mounting up – does your agent actively pursue o/s markets or are you well enough known due to whatever that foreign publishers come looking for the rights?
Just business stuff and possibly boring to others so please answer or not as you see fit.
My ex-wife would love this. She spent about six weeks in Turkey back in 2001, and learned quite a bit of the language before going there. (Turns out she has a talent for languages she never suspected). She still has friends there, too.
She’s now in Finland. Anybody translated Old Man’s War into Finnish yet?
Out of curiosity, how many languages have your books been translated into so far?
Foreign language editions always strike me as immensely cool.
Wow. Just wow, John. Thanks for showing us amateur writers how awesome it is to get your book published in other languages. You’re motivating us to write . Now how cool would it be if you got to do a signing session in Turkey?
Kerney Hacker: Check the websites of your local libraries. If you have a card, you will probably have access to one or more suppliers of ebooks. Some may require the OverDrive app, but there are some that don’t. The most recent books may not be available, but what they have will be free.
Dave Branson: Turkish definitely isn’t a latinate language.
That’s “Romance” language, btw. Not only is Turkish not a Romance language, it’s not even Indo-European. The Indo-European family is absolutely massive and includes Greek, Welsh, Russian, Iranian, and English (among many others) and these languages aren’t even close to being mutually comprehensible or even “puzzle-out-able”. You have no chance at all with Turkish.
Another informed opinion: I sent the link to a friend who was a Turkish linguist, and she proclaimed the writing “pretty darned good”. That’s high praise!
Hi! I read the first chapter and now I’m happy just incredible! I live in Turkey and now my friends and I look forward to the publication of the book.
The book will be published in March, Ithaki. Please come to our country to sign the book!
This is the cover of the turkish edition..What do you think Mr. scalzi?..